VICTORIA & ABDUL
2017, Focus Features , 106 min, Dir: Stephen Frears

A humorous exploration of race, religion, power and the farce of Empire through the prism of an unusual and deeply moving friendship, this extraordinary true story had been deliberately hidden for a century. In 1887, Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal) travels from India to present a ceremonial medal as part of Queen Victoria’s (Judi Dench) Golden Jubilee but surprisingly finds favor with the elderly monarch. The unprecedented and unlikely relationship causes a battle royale within the royal household, pitting the queen against court and family.


THE GRIFTERS
1990, Miramax, 110 min, USA, Dir: Stephen Frears

After a small-time scam backfires, Roy Dillon (John Cusack) is hospitalized, bringing his estranged mother Lilly (Anjelica Huston) back into his life. When she tries to turn him away from girlfriend Myra (Annette Bening), Roy finds himself caught between con artists whose talent for deception far outstrips his own. Adapted from the Jim Thompson novel, this suspenseful neo-noir earned Oscar nominations for Frears, Huston, Bening and screenwriter Donald E. Westlake.


THE QUEEN
2006, Miramax, 97 min, UK, Dir: Stephen Frears

Combining the vicarious rewards of a detailed biopic with the gentler pleasures of an insightful character study, director Stephen Frears puts the monarchy under the microscope in this irreverent comedy-drama. Set in 1997, it details the bond of trust that slowly develops between the 71-year-old Queen Elizabeth – humanized by the Oscar-winning performance of Helen Mirren in the title role – and prime minister, Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) following the death of Princess Diana. With James Cromwell, Sylvia Syms.


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